Tag: cathedral

Krakow 2019 (Day 14-15)

Day 14

I bid farewell to Warsaw and hopped onto a high speed train for the 2 hour trip down to Krakow. I then spent the afternoon on a walking tour of the historic city.

All aboard the PKP Intercity Premium from Warsaw.
My hotel in Krakow was far more luxurious than I had expected.
Waiting for the walking tour to begin at St Florian’s Gate, an entrance into the Old Town.
The beautiful St Mary’s Basilica
Another view of the church.
Krakow Town Hall tower.
The Collegium Maius building of Jagiellonian University, the oldest university in Poland.
Collegium Maius also contains a musical clock featuring sculptures.
The ornate interior of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi
The Bishop’s Palace, where Pope John Paul II lived when he was the Archbishop of Krakow. He used to appear at the centre window to greet followers.
The magnificent Wawel Cathedral inside Wawel Castle, over 900 years old.
A panorama of Krakow’s Main Market Square.

What I ate

Had dinner in this extremely cosy Pierogi restaurant in the Old Town.
Didn’t I say it was cosy?
The lamb pierogis were even better than the ones in Warsaw.

Day 15

I spent the bulk of the day visiting the Auschwitz extermination camp near Krakow. I will have a separate post about it soon.

What I ate

Dined at the Piano Rouge, a bizarrely decorated basement restaurant.
Had this excellent chicken dish.
And creme brulee for dessert.
I had “sex on a piano”, which was a nice cocktail.
Wednesdays are jazz nights, so we had some live entertainment to go with dinner. She was good.

Click HERE for Day Sixteen and Day Seventeen.

Berlin 2019 (Day 8-9)

Day 8

I spent Day 8 exploring the Neues Museum and the Pergamon Museum, both filled with thousands of artefacts from across the world. One of the most fascinating days of my trip.

What I saw

The Neues Museum largely preserves damage from WW2 while otherwise modernised.
The remains of an Ancient Egyptian burial chamber.
Head of a statue of Queen Hatshepsut or King Thutmose III.
A gallery of small Egyptian figurines.
Sarcophagus lid of a royal audit officer.
The most iconic object of Neues Museum, the bust of Queen Nefertiti.
The Pergamon Museum is dominated by several huge structures. One is the iconic Blue Gate of Ishtar from Ancient Babylon. It was built in 575 BC on the orders of the fabled King Nebuchadnezzar II.
A closer look at the gate.
The preserved friezes of lions which once lined the processional way leading to the gate.
A replica of the Code of Hammurabi, one of the oldest legal codes in history. The original is in the Louvre in Paris.
The Market Gate of Miletus is another grand exhibit. It was built in Miletus (now in Turkey) around 120-130 AD.
The Pergamon Altar, the most famous exhibit and namesake of the Museum. Unfortunately, it’s closed till 2023 for refurbishment. (Pic from Wikipedia)

What I ate

I had a delicious doner kebab from a Turkish place near the train station.
Kebabs roasting slowly on the spit.
Treated myself to an extra helping of currywurst for dinner.

Day 9

On Day 9, I toured the Alexanderplatz, the Berlin Cathedral, the Stasi Museum and a food fair.

What I saw

Alexanderplatz was the former city centre of East Berlin, and still retains the socialist architectural feel. The view is dominated by the Fernsehturm, a television transmission tower constructed by the East German regime.
Another landmark is the World Clock, built in 1969. It also includes Singapore.
Decided to visit the interior of the Berlin Cathedral.
The majestic altar.
The cavernous domed ceiling.
The immense church organ with 7269 pipes and 113 registers.
Berlin from the Cathedral’s rooftop. Tickets cost just 7 euros, less than half that those for the Fernsehturm.
View from another side of the roof.
My afternoon was spent at the historic Stasi Museum which was once the HQ of East Germany’s feared secret police.

To read a detailed account of this fascinating Cold War museum, click HERE.

What I ate

Had a pulled pork wrap from the street food market near Hackescher Markt station.
Explored a food fair with my Twitter friend for dinner.
There was a great selection of food, wine and beer available.
I had a pulled pork bun which was soft and tender. Like German Char Siew.
Ended my day with a glass of German beer of course!

Click HERE for Day Ten to Day Thirteen

Berlin 2019 (Day 6-7)

Day 6

I departed London on the morning of Oct 14, travelling by the Eurostar to Brussels. I then took two ICE trains to Berlin, changing in Cologne. I reached Berlin that night and had a quick dinner before bed.

What I saw

Boarding the Eurostar at St Pancras. Didn’t have to get up too early as my hostel was opposite the station.
On board the German ICE train from Brussels to Cologne. It was very fast and quiet.
Speeding past the German countryside.
Cute doggo that shared the cabin during the ride to Berlin.
Finally arrived at Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof station after nearly 12 hours.
Checked into the comfortable Circus Hostel which was in the Mitte district.

What I ate

I ate sandwiches on the trains. They were expensive but good quality.
Once in Berlin, I had a quick bite at Curry Mitte where I tried their currywurst. It was really good.

Day 7

I spent the bulk of this day on a walking tour of Berlin’s best cultural and historic spots.

What I saw

Waiting for my tram to Hackescher Markt to begin my walking tour
The Bridge over the Spree River to Museum Island. The Berlin Cathedral is in the background.
The Altes Museum (Old Museum).
The beautiful Berlin Cathedral
Babelplatz in front of Humboldt University’s Law building, where the Nazis conducted massive book burnings in the 1930s.
Gendarmenmarkt, a beautiful public square with the French and German churches, as well as the Berlin Concert Hall.
The location of Allied Checkpoint Charlie, a crossing that once existed between East and West Berlin. It’s a touristy mess these days.
The cobblestones that mark where the Berlin Wall once stood separating East and West.
One of the longest surviving stretches of the Berlin Wall.
The site of the Fuhrerbunker, where Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945 as the Soviets closed in on Berlin. It’s deliberately kept nondescript to prevent it from becoming a Neo Nazi shrine.
The Holocaust Memorial, consisting of concrete blocks of various sizes resembling gravestones.
The Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of Berlin.
After the walking tour ended, I dropped by the DDR Museum which showcased life in Communist East Germany. It was a brittle regime propped up by propaganda, surveillance and Soviet military force.
A model of how the Berlin Wall functioned. Plenty of people were shot dead trying to escape to the West from 1961-1989.

What I ate

Had cold meats, cheese and waffle plus orange juice for breakfast at the hostel.
By sheer coincidence, a Twitter friend from Singapore was also touring Berlin and happened to be staying just across the street from my hostel. So we met up for dinner.
We had Korean BBQ, which was excellent. It was amusing to see the other customers drinking Tiger Beer in Germany of all places.

Click HERE for Day Eight and Day Nine